Ministers Hipkins and Salesa first announced that the Government would be funding a Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) for the Construction and Infrastructure Industries on 20 August 2019. A competitive process was undertaken to determine where the CoVE would be hosted and what would be its objectives and form.
On Thursday 3 September 2020, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson and the Minister for Building and Construction and local MP, Jenny Salesa, attended MIT’s Otara South Campus to announce that the CoVE for the Construction and Infrastructure industries (which we call ConCOVE) was to be hosted by Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).
ConCOVE was the result of a consortium bid. Led by Professor Martin Carroll from MIT, it also included the following organisations as the lead group:
- Construction Accord
- Skills ITO
- NZ Construction Industry Council
- Vertical Horizonz
- Te Wananga o Aotearoa
- Ara Institute of Canterbury
- E tū
The Construction Sector Accord was seen as the key partner given that they are the most significant consortium in the construction industry. It is an accord between government and industry, representing major industry organisations, unions, peak bodies and government agencies. The Accord released Transformation Plan in January 2020 which was highly influential in shaping ConCOVE’s bid.
Beyond this consortium Lead Group, a further thirty two industry organisations pledged their support for the bid. Going forward, these entities will collectively form the ConCOVE Members, which is a body that is expected to grow. The role of the Members is to facilitate participation in projects, potentially access further resources, and disseminate findings.
ConCOVE will deliver the following 5 projects:
Disruption: Identifying the timing, scale and scope of future disruptions to the workforce, and developing appropriate responses
Learning: Design a new learning framework that increases participation and outcomes for learners, employers, and industry.
Productivity: Improve productivity through retention, upskilling and reskilling
Diversity: Growing and strengthening the workforce through diversity
Sustainability: Improving the Industries’ attention to environmental sustainability by establishing how relevant sustainability principles can be incorporated into appropriate training products.
As an overarching tool, ConCOVE will establish a Career Framework for the construction and infrastructure industries. This framework will be used to map different job types and levels, and measure transitions into and out of these jobs and levels by priority groups. It will also be used to determine and advise what training and what intervention strategies should be applied at what stages of the framework.
ConCOVE is governed by a Board. The Board is comprised primarily of people from the industries. One Co-Chair (who must be from industry) is Graham Burke, who is the Construction Accord’s CoVE Stream Leader. The other Co-Chair (who must be Māori) is currently Phil Hokianga from Vertical Horizonz. Paul Hollings, General Manager, Tech Park, representing MIT is also on the Board. Other positions will be filled once the ConCOVE Membership is stood up later in the year.
Sign-up as a ConCOVE member today.